Emotional rollercoaster of home selling

AccoFebruary 13, 2013

Lately, this process of having my condo up for sale has been taking its toll on my emotions!

I bought my condo 5 yrs ago when I was single. I got married, and my husband and I are ready to ditch the condo and get a house. We listed the condo a year and a half ago (which has been hard enough already!!)

We've almost sold it three times so far, and now I'm waiting in suspense to hear what another buyer has decided to do...

In December we had an almost-offer, but after several agonizing weeks of deliberation, they bought a smaller, less expensive unit in our neighborhood instead. After that big let-down, my husband finally caved in to my requests to replace our ugly green carpet, and we put in new, neutral beige carpet a month ago.

We've had a lot more showings, and a lot more positive feedback and interest since we changed the carpet (which is encouraging!). On Super Bowl Sunday, we got our first actual offer - we were elated! However, the very next morning, the buyer rescinded :( Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. Turns out they had offered on another property first, and that seller accepted. (later found out they couldn't get financing anyway, so it wouldn't have mattered if we got them)

Last Thursday we had a showing and feedback said it was the buyer's top choice out of what they had seen (here's where I let my hopes get too high!) However, they had plans to see some more condos on Tuesday (aka, yesterday), so I've been anxiously waiting to see what happens ever since. On Sunday, their agent called ours to make sure our condo was still available. He told our agent that they were going to look at four foreclosed fixer-uppers that were not nearly as nice as ours, and hinted that he hoped to be bringing us an offer soon.

So, yesterday came and went, with no offer. Our agent hasn't heard from theirs yet (she has requested that he call her back). I still cling to hope that maybe they're just sleeping on it, but I'm also steeling myself for another heartbreak.

Man, this sucks! Will we ever win a buyer?

At least things seem to be on the right track. I think our price is right (below recent comps, below others in the neighborhood, though we'll be losing about $20k) and at least the agents all seem to love our listing. We've been getting a lot more people saying "maybe" interested, compared to most saying "not at all" interested prior to the carpet.

Have any of you out there had a home that took forever to sell? What do you think finally made the difference in getting a buyer?

I hope to hear soon either yes or no from this buyer so I can end this horrible suspense!! That's the worst part :P

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In my experience, if you keep coming in second place, you are priced just a bit high. The buyers like your place, but keep finding other places that offer more value. Either reduce the price a bit or wait for the market to reach your current price.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Sounds overpriced.

What was your asking price based on?

This post was edited by brickeyee on Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 16:35

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:34PM
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I can speak to "a home that took forever to sell" issue. We had our last home on the market for 4 years. Finally sold it in the spring of 2012.

How did we finally get it sold? The right people came along. We had a unique property and it needed unique buyers. We did not HAVE to sell, we just wanted to. We still live in the same community, but our old house was very large and located on 30 acres of wooded land. As we have aged, and our kids grew up, the place was simply too much for us. But we didn't want to give it away nor lose $$.

We had multiple showings through the years, but no solid offers. Very, very painful.

We now live in town in a smaller house on a MUCH smaller piece of land. And as far as our mortgage goes, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. A good thing as we near retirement.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:08PM
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As I write this comment, we have had three contracts fall through on our house since it was first listed in May, 2014. The first contract was cancelled due to the buyer not being able to obtain a mortgage. We lost over two months of having our house listed. The second contract was cancelled rather quickly, within a couple of weeks, after the inspection report which suggested possible but unsubstantiated health issues. The buyer was highly neurotic and immediately cancelled. The house received a couple of low offers that were not accepted after that and then we re-listed the house with another realtor, reducing the price by $40,000. We then accepted another low offer, due to the fatigue of upkeeping this home (we have already moved out of state). The home inspector ran our home into the ground, again with innuendo and unsubstantiated claims, which we subsequently had debunked by independent contractors. Still, these buyers were nervous and untrusting, and cancelled the sale. That is three for three now. I have never experienced anything as unpleasant as trying to sell your home. We sold our first home, 28 years ago, easily. Wondering if anyone else can share a similar experience, so that I don't feel so alone in this stressful situation.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 9:44AM
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What motive do you think the two Home Inspectors would have to invent "innuendo and unsubstantiated claims?"

What were the "claims?"

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 10:28AM
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Home inspectors always point out tons of things that may or may not be a problem. It's better for them to warn about something and it turns out it isn't a problem, than for them to not mention something and it actually is a problem.
Jack of all trades, master of none. They know a little bit about a lot of things, but usually aren't too knowledgeable about anything.
This scares a lot of people who don't know that a home inspection is really just a general look and anything that is pointed out that's significant should warrant a second look by a professional in that specific field.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 11:41AM
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Our home took a year to sell but there were some extenuating circumstances. We listed with a relative that had a real estate business in a nearby town. Big mistake. They held an open house and no local agents toured. They maintained that they could sell it but really didn't work it and we had to wait out the three month listing period. We let it sit for a few months before re-listing it with a local company. Like a previous poster it was a somewhat unique property - semi-rural, not in a neighborhood so to speak but with a fantastic view. The right owners came along and gave us full price asking. We were fortunate that we could afford the wait.

Good luck in selling your home.

1 Like    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 11:49AM
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@saltidawg: 2 health issues . Fiberglass in hvac system, lead to respiratory problems? Dry crawl space with white line on cinderblock, evidence of past water there ( house is 50 years old). Two contractors followed up- no fiberglass, no problem with hvac and no current moisture problems. Buyers were too freaked out at that point and pulled out of sale.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 3:33PM
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This inspector actually criticized our neighbor's maintenance of an asphalt walk that runs down our block. It is town owned but the town refuses to maintain it. We put in a new walk along our property to the tune of $2000. This inspector was so out of line that I wish I could retaliate. Can't imagine his motive but he surely drummed up enough bogus crap to ruin the sale.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 3:43PM
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Selling a house is a very bad place to be. We have been relocated several times in my adult life, and lucky enough that the employer pays the bridge costs of selling a home. This last time, we had no such bridge loan...and the new job was hours away. We had to move.

At first, we had a lot of traffic and a lot of interest. We listed in the middle of summer, somewhat past the peak. No offers. What is worse, a friend of mine listed at the same time and sold to the very first looker!. That was a kick in the teeth.

We sold the following January. The house was on the market for six months or so, priced as low as we could go. Sometimes I wonder if we let that house go too low, but I wanted to be done with it.

It was a rollercoaster to the end. Even at a reduced price (and we had to repair things after inspection), the finances were unstable for the buyers. Closing was moved several times. It was nail biting, but it got done.

If it is priced right, it will sell, eventually. It sounds like you are using a realtor. Try to let that person worry about the sale and go about your business. I know that is hard. I did a ritual of letting go before the offer came in on our house.

As a buyer, I am surprised at what has sold. We passed on a few houses that were overpriced and had obvious water damage to the basements, yet they sold!

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 9:50PM
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Thanks for sharing your story. I do mental exercise and physical exercise to push away the black cloud that this house sale has created in my life. I know that it is only money and not my health or that of those I love, so I try to enjoy every day . Guess the thoughts of "will this nightmare ever end?" try to creep into my mind and I have to push them away as son as possible.

    Bookmark   last Thursday at 6:57AM
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We've been on the market about four weeks now. We have an open mind and has not turned into a nightmare just yet. The market is just opening up and we've had only a few showings, mostly folk who really loved the photos online and wanted to see for themselves. Only one serious family who was ready to make an offer however his 16 year old daughter thought it was too big; c'mon it's not big, just well laid out. It's big, its small...reminds me of lyrics in Piece of Me by Britney Spears..lol

    Bookmark   last Thursday at 1:41PM
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Shudders at the thought of a 16 year old calling the shots...

2 Likes    Bookmark   last Thursday at 2:00PM
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I'm immune to criticism of my house. I don't live there anymore and it is just something that I want sold so we don't have to keep paying taxes, utiilities and landscaping fees. This money is simply flushing down the drain money. People will say the stupidest things, but you have to just say "next" and hope you don't go into contract with unqualified buyers or buyers with extreme anxiety about buying a house, who cancel a contract without thinking things through,. We're heading into another re-listing in a couple of days and it feels like doing another tour of duty in a war. Selling a house in today's market is definitely a test of one"s ability to withstand uncertainty and remain positive that it will all work out in the end.

2 Likes    Bookmark   last Thursday at 7:14PM
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The highest utility bill we had during the 20 year period we owned our previous home occurred when the house was vacant and up for sale. We'd come by and find all the lights on and the A/C or heat turned to the extreme.

    Bookmark   last Friday at 7:43AM
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My stupid buyers just backed out and I could scream. They held our house off market for 2 weeks then decided to pull out after inspection "because they were worried about some cracking in the caulk in the tub". BS!!!!!!!!!!! They just got cold feet but now they get to walk away with all their money and we are left with a black flag on our house about a deal that fell through after inspection. They have the same employer I do and I have half a mind to send them a reall nasty email, but I'm venting here instead.

    Bookmark   last Friday at 10:39AM
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My friend, who's been in the RE business for more than 35 years, just had a deal fall thru three days before closing. The buyer decided he didn't want to buy flood insurance. (She's the listing agent.)

House is in a flood zone (tho not that worrisome, there is just a slough close by), never got close to a problem 20 years ago when we did have flooding in the county, flood zone was disclosed in listing, in all paperwork (and signed off by buyer), discussed ad infinitum. But when it came to actually buying the insurance, they backed out.

    Bookmark   last Friday at 2:28PM
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@Butternut. We have had two cancelled contracts over overzealous inspectors who implied problems that didn" t even exist. We are going back and correcting some minor things in hopes that we don't have another contract cancellation in the future. Home selling is simply a nghtmare that doesn't seem to end. I hate it!

    Bookmark   last Friday at 6:23PM
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After three weeks and not a month I said earlier, on the market and no offers, I dropped the price by $25K last night, bringing it somewhat closer to the comps. I can't understand comps. Two houses, one a standard home in average condition, zero or minimal upgrades, can vastly bring down the price of a much superior home with huge and significant upgrades. Off six showings, one serious, each feedback provided glowing reviews about the property, only one said the price was right. We don't have a deadline per se, then again, I feel we have a deadline. My daughter is expecting her second baby in September and we want to be closer to her sooner than later. It's going to be a tough adventure; selling what I built as our last dream home, moving coast to coast, renting a home in an area with very few large rental homes since I'd hate to put my stuff in storage, building a new home, then start living again. I can see a minimum two year struggle, however the thought of being closer to the grandkids is priceless.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 4:21AM
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Salzy - My house is 2 years old and in perfect condition. There is nothing wrong with it. The caulk between the tub and tiled wall cracked a little during the house settling and I should have repaired it but didn't - it's in the basement and doesn't get much use, and honestly I hadn't even noticed! It has not leaked. It doesn't leak. It's a 20 minute job with a $8 can of caulk from Home Depot. The builder is sending a guy out on Monday to repair it even thought it's out of his official warranty period, because he's a good guy.

It's an insane thing to cancel a contract over, without any attempt to have us fix it, 5 minutes after receiving the inspection report. It could have been a burned out lightbulb and they would have still cancelled. Which is why all involved suppose that the buyers changed their mind and just wanted an easy out.

Which is what they got, and we have no recourse. Jerks.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 3:27PM
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Butternut- that's really awful and I can understand your frustration. My guess is the caulk didn't concern them at all but they found something they *think* they like better before the inspection was done or perhaps found something they could more easily afford. I don't know why the system is set up the way it is - buyers get their earnest money back for almost any situation. It does the seller no good at all to require substantial earnest money anymore - used to be the buyer's feet were held to the fire at risk of losing it but not any more.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 4:31PM
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We're considering listing our home but don't have to sell. Now I'm wondering if we should. We sold our starter home when a 2nd baby came along and we had only 2 small bedrooms, total, with no space for 2 boys to share a room.

We thought the next home, which we instantly loved, would be our "forever" home . We have lived here 27 years and built a wealth of memories. It tears me up to think of moving. But it is becoming too much house.

But reading of these home sale woes ...well, I feel for all of you who've gone through such emotional ups and downs. And how on earth do you time a home sale so that you have a new place to move? When we sold our starter home, we were in the less than desirable position of having bought our "forever" home while still holding a mortgage on the first one..Luckily we sold the first home in less than a month. Huge relief. I wouldn't take the same leap of faith in today's housing market.

    Bookmark   9 hours ago
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I have to relocate so I sold my house first and negotiated a rent back from my buyer so I could find a house in my new city. In my area, it's a hot seller's market so my house sold very quickly but it's also a seller's market in the city I am moving to. Since there are multiple offers/bidding wars for houses there, I was unlikely to have my offer accepted if it was contingent on a home sale. Luckily I just ratified a contract on a house so if everything goes well with the inspection it will all work out. Otherwise I would probably have had to find a short term rental while still looking for a home to buy.

    Bookmark   8 hours ago
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